Little Red Dress

Vintage Butterick 8043

Vintage Butterick 8043

I’ve had in mind to make this dress for some time now, and The House of Pinheiro‘s invitation to do a guest post was all the butt-kicking I needed! This is probably the most effort I have put into a toile. I bought the fabric, £1.45 a metre, for the purpose of potential, wearable toiles but ‘wearable’ was wishful thinking this time. The fabric is a shiny synthetic mix and tears like paper. I darned (yes ‘darned’!) the first hole, thinking I could get away with it but then more little slit like holes sprung up all down one side. Perhaps a fault in the fabric…. perhaps just rubbish fabric but hey ho. I would have needed to make a toile for this dress in any case and this fabric still came cheaper than anything else I would have used.

Vintage Butterick 8043

Vintage Butterick 8043


Pattern: Vintage Butterick 8043
Material /Fabric: Very cheap, shiny, synthetic blend
Notions: 20″ invisible zipper, 2.5m satin bias binding
Time to complete: Over the course of 3 evenings
Difficulty: Intermediate. All very basic apart from the side fronts where the gathering is attached to the neck!
First worn: Just for the photoshoot!
Wear again?: Unfortunately not. The fabric was really unstable and tears very easily. I tried to darn a hole under the arm hole (yes you heard right, I said it again… ‘darn’!) but more little tears started to appear randomly down the side. I didn’t cry too much! It was a toile after all!
Total Cost: £3 for fabric, £1 zip and binding from stash.

Vintage Butterick 8043

Vintage Butterick 8043

Vintage Butterick 8043

Vintage Butterick 8043


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I think you have to be realistic when using a vintage pattern. I so don’t look like any fashion drawing ever created and so the finished dress is never going to look the same on me as it does on the packet!

Pattern Construction:
The gathers around the neck took 2 attempts. But the rest of the construction was relatively simple. There are no darts at the waist, just shaped panels, princess seams I guess, which can be adjusted easily.

Would you recommend it to others?:
Yes. It would look and feel gorgeous in a more sophisticated fabric.

Were the instructions easy to follow:
On the whole yes. The diagrams are very basic and take a bit of working out but common sense and a bit of ‘mental making up’ got me through it!

Pattern alterations or any design changes:
I am not so accomplished with pattern grading – yet! – so I usually buy a pattern with the correct bust size and rework the waist and hip lines. Quite necessary on vintage patterns… boy did those 50s ladies have tiny waists!

Despite it only being a toile. I quite like how this one turned out. I loved how easy it was to make the adjustments and I really liked binding the hems with satin bias. Such a lovely vintage finish. I will definitely give it another go sometime soon

Vintage Butterick 8043, shoes by Schuh

Vintage Butterick 8043, shoes by Schuh

As you have probably noticed, Mr Ooobop! is very camera-happy at the moment. Which is very handy indeed. And which is why all the pictures are all so daft and posy!

Vintage Butterick 8043

Vintage Butterick 8043

If you haven’t paid a visit to House of Pinheiro yet, you must! Rachel is a very beautiful and talented young lady with lots of inspirational posts to share.

Well, all that remains to be said is a big ‘thank you’ to the wonderful Mr Ooobop! and to the lovely Rachel, without whom this post would have taken a hellofalot longer!

32 thoughts on “Little Red Dress

  1. You and the dress look beautiful! The color is stunning, as are the shoes. And keep in mind that Nobody looks likes the fashion drawings on the old pattern packets…there was a special format for drawing those figures (geez, I just had a flashback to someone showing me how it was done). 🙂

  2. Really gorgeous Janene, what a shame the fabric wasn’t up to general wear and tear. The style and colour look great on you – you must make your real version in red! I love a little red dress, way more than a LBD! x

  3. I LOVE that neck detail. And it’s a pity about the fabric, because this is the most gorgeous toile I’ve ever seen! Anyway…I’m sure it’ll be even better in your final fabric. Can’t wait! (btw, I’ve just followed you – yay!)

  4. I came to see more photos of this lovely dress from your review on PatternReview…. amazing, just gorgeous… I’ll stay to see the next version of it – *following* ! 🙂

    Also noted you’re a graphic designer as well – that’s two things we have in common 😉 ^__^

    • Thank you Symon Sez… for your lovely comment, for following me and for leading me to your lovely blog. I think we have a lot more in common than being graphic designers!

  5. i sew with vintage patterns too! actually, i made a green dress that i wore on my blog for christmas! i love the illustrations on the vintage patterns, even if they are a little unrealistic!

  6. Oh my gosh the dress is just lovely! Wonderful work. It must be so awesome to wear what you make. I have a few things, but they are pajamas and scarves and things of that nature. Also, I can not stop staring at those red shoes. Just fabulous.

  7. Pingback: Passing on the Liebster blog award « Catherine Daze's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s